Eight months ago, Cody Wilson set out to create the world’s first entirely 3D-printable handgun.
Now he has.
Early next week, Wilson, a 25-year University of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, plans to release the 3D-printable CAD files for a gun he calls “the Liberator,” pictured in its initial form above. He’s agreed to let me document the process of the gun’s creation, so long as I don’t publish details of its mechanics or its testing until it’s been proven to work reliably and the file has been uploaded to Defense Distributed’s online collection of printable gun blueprints at Defcad.org.
The Liberator does include two metal pieces, a nail to act as the firing pin and a six-ounce piece of steel to make it detectable by metal detectors. The other 16 parts were printed in ABS plastic and according to Wilson, will be available online at Defcad.org next week. It has interchangeable barrels so that it can fire multiple calibers of standard handgun ammunition. Wilson has his federal firearms license, and added the steel to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act, so everything he has done to date complies with firearms law.
And yet, the printed gun may change everything.